Avr 242014

In the previous article, we have seen how to benefit from the new wimboot feature of MS Windows 8.1 using the DISM command.

Thanks to the free/opensource WimLib, let’s now see how we can proceed with the capture/apply phase. This WimLib method will be similar to the DISM one.

Since Wimlib 6.3, you no longer need a Windows 8.1 Update 1 source which means you can use any Winpe 3/4/5 version !


Here below the procedure (we assume Win8.1U1 is already installed on C drive):

1-Lets make a WINPE out of  windows (7 or 8) iso/dvd (I use QuickPE) .

2-Boot onto this Winpe (I use rufus to « burn » the winpe iso onto USB).

3-Capture the installation : wimcapture.cmd c:\ e:\install.wim --wimboot
Note : e:\ is a second partition on my hard drive.
Note : wimlib binaries are in x:\extra\wimlib if you used QuickPE.

4-Format C drive (so that we start from a fresh drive)

5-Apply our wim file (from step 3) to my C drive : wimapply.cmd e:\install.wim c:\ --wimboot

Note : before step 5, you may want to perform the following command wimlib-imagex update install.wim 1 --command="add CustomWimBootCompress.ini \Windows\System32\WimBootCompress.ini" in order to fully apply bootmgr files (and not use pointers to the wim file).
Here is the customewimbootcompress.ini.
This applies only if you have one unique boot & system partition which is nowadays rarely the case as Windows always created a hidden/reserved partition for the boot files.

And voila, you should end up with a C drive occupied by only 250 MB (before 1st boot where pagefile.sys and hyberfil.sys will be created).

 Posted by at 21 h 30 min
Avr 122014

In April 2014, MS has updated Windows 8.1 to Windows 8.1 Update 1. (buildlab 6.3.9600.17031 and up).

One feature which was not very much marketed was the Windows Image File Boot also named Wimboot.
You can read more here on MS Web site.

In short, here is what MS says :
Windows image file boot (WIMBoot) lets you set up a PC so that it runs directly from a compressed Windows image file (WIM file).
WIMBoot can significantly reduce the amount of space used by Windows files. This helps you provide more free space to users, and helps you manufacture Windows on PCs with smaller drives.

So lets see how we can use this new feature :

We’ll assume you have already installed your Windows 8.1 (You can download an evaluation version here).

1-Lets make a WINPE out of the Windows 8.1 update 1 iso/dvd (I use QuickPE).

2-Boot onto this Winpe (I use rufus to « burn » the winpe iso onto USB).

3-Capture the installation : dism /capture-image /imagefile:e:\install.Wim /capturedir:c:\ /name:install /wimboot
Note here : e:\ is a second partition on my hard drive

4-Format C drive (so that we start from a fresh drive)

5-Apply our wim file (from step 3) to my C drive : dism /apply-image /imagefile:e:\install.Wim /index:1 /applydir:c:\ /wimboot

Note : after step 5, I had to do a bcdboot X:\windows /s X:\ where X is the partition where you just applied your WIM file.
This applies only if you have one unique boot & system partition which is nowadays rarely the case as Windows always created a hidden/reserved partition for the boot files.

And voila, you should end up with a C drive occupied by only 3GB (when it was about 20GB minimum before step 1).

This should work on X86 or X64 (tested), with a UEFI or MBR (tested) partition, with SSD drive or standard drive (not tested).

Here below a picture showing my final / wimboot setup.


 Posted by at 22 h 27 min
Mar 292014

Lately I had cloned a physical XP installation to run it into VirtualBox.

It went fine except for the network drivers.

Rather than looking for the right driver over internet (which can be a painful process sometimes) I decided to use DriverPacks and dpinst from Microsoft.

1-Download the proper driverpack (lan, wlan, storage, etc) for the correct O.S (nt5,nt6,x86,x64).
2-Unzip it to a folder (c:\drivers for exemple).
Note1 : I mounted my disk image offline to inject my files.
Note2 : for a physical machine, best would be to stuff it all on a USB key.
3-And run dpinst from the command line (dpinst /path c:\drivers) OR use my GUI (here) to make it easier.

And voila, all needed drivers will be installed 🙂


 Posted by at 18 h 49 min
Jan 252014

BOOTICE is a powerful boot-related utility.
It’s desired to manipulate (install, backup, restore) the MBR and PBR of disks (or disk images), to partition and format disks, to edit disk sectors in hexadecimal, to erase all the data on your disk or logical drive (by filling with customizable characters), to edit Grub4DOS boot menu, and to edit BCD file of Windows NT 6.x.

2013.12.10 v1.3.2.1
1. Fixed the bug that compacting VHD doesn’t work on Windows 7.

◆ 2013.12.07 v1.3.2
1. VHD/VHDX supporting. Now you can create, mount or unmount, resize, compact, reset the parent VHD file for VHD/VHDX files.
2. Better partition formatting speed, especially for NTFS.
3. Allow formatting as FAT32 on a partition larger than 32GB.
4. Fixed a bug that cuases wrong total sectors of VHD files.
5. When installing GRUB4DOS/WEE MBR, the choice « Install NT6 MBR to the 2nd sector » was checked initially.

Find it here.


Jan 252014

A must have.

Get it here.
Discuss it here.

Rufus is an utility that helps format and create bootable USB flash drives, such as USB keys/pendrives, memory sticks, etc.

It can be especially useful for cases where:

you need to create USB installation media from bootable ISOs (Windows, Linux, UEFI, etc.)
you need to work on a system that doesn’t have an OS installed
you need to flash a BIOS or other firmware from DOS
you want to run a low-level utility


 Posted by at 14 h 13 min  Tagged with:
Jan 252014

See here .

Very handy GUI to perform the following : apply install.wim file, takes care of the mbr, pbr and bcd

– Install Windows 2k/XP/2003/2008/2012/Vista/7/8.x x86/x64
– Practically runs even on the most minimalistic WinPE
– Choose able drive letter for the new Windows installation
– Install Windows also if nlite/vlite has remove winnt32.exe/setup.exe
– Integrate Drivers: normal PNP and Textmode Drivers also
– patch uxtheme to allow unsigned Themes
– Some tweaks
– Support « Windows to Go » for Windows 7 and later installs